PAWTUCKET – Felix Doubront is returning to his pitching roots. After serving as a left-handed option in Boston’s bullpen for a week-plus, Doubront will now serve as a member of Pawtucket’s starting rotation.
“He’s going to start games,” confirmed Mike Hazen, the Red Sox’ vice president of player development. “He’ll probably be on a shortened pitch count to start, but we’ll build him up from there. He’ll start the games.”
Doubront was optioned to the minors on Monday, replaced by fellow lefty Hideki Okajima. The 23-year-old Doubront struggled mightily in his three relief outings for Boston, compiling a 6.75 ERA in three outings spanning 2 2/3 innings.
Mainly a starter throughout his pro career, Doubront made the switch to reliever last season after injuries/ineffectiveness took their toll on the Sox’ pen. He was shut down during spring training with soreness in his pitching elbow only to be activated for Boston’s home opener on April 8.
It’s unclear when Doubront will make his first start for Pawtucket. He last pitched on Sunday against Toronto. On Tuesday night Doubront was listed on manager Arnie Beyeler’s lineup card as a reliever.